Use Your Browser’s Incognito Mode When Browsing Flights
Did you know that airlines and travel websites adjust their prices according to how often you’ve checked their sites? They use your browser’s cache, cookies, and history to see whether you’ve been creeping on them waiting for prices to drop, and they will increase them on you! New visitors get the best deals, so be a newbie every time by using your private browser.
Save Money By Sharing Transportation
Uber and Lyft have done a lot for us in life. One important advantage that you may not have considered (if you aren’t already carpooling) is using a rideshare app to save on your trip to the airport, by sharing your ride with another traveler. Rideshares are often FAR cheaper than a taxi ride, and you won’t have to worry about paying extra for parking around busy times like holidays.
Bonus: Some of the kindest drivers will give you free gum or water, either out of the goodness of their souls, or hoping for a 5-star rating. I’m not asking questions, though.
Skip The Security Wait With TSA Pre-Check
Applying for TSA Pre-Check can be one of the greatest things you can do for yourself if you travel with any frequency. For just $85 you can shoot through security checks without having to take off your shoes, belt, and jacket, or wrestle your liquids and laptop out of your bags—for 5 YEARS. After an online application, a breezy 10-minute in-person background check, and ID verification and fingerprint documentation, you’re good to go. The benefits are most apparent at peak travel times like holidays, when the lines are long and the process truly takes an eternity.
Bring An Empty Bottle For Water
If you’re a seasoned traveler, you’re probably no stranger to just how thirsty a flight can make you. It’s not just sweating through the security check- flying really does cause dehydration. While a comfortable level of humidity for most people is between 30 and 65 percent, the humidity of a flight drops between 10 and 20 percent! This can basically suck moisture right out of your body.
You can’t bring a bottle of water from home on your flight, unless it’s a small enough amount to clear the security check, but then what’s the point? Not to mention, buying a bottle of water at one of the duty-free shops can cost you the soul of your firstborn, so what can you do? Waiting for the cart to come through on the flight can take forever for no more than a shot glass’s worth of H2O. Life-hack time—bring an empty water bottle from home (or 2 or 3), and it will clear the security process. Stop at a water fountain on your way to the gate, and fill it up! Problem solved!
Bring Your Own Tasty Carry-on Snacks!
These days, it seems like there is a dearth of airplane food. In fact, you’re lucky if you even get peanuts or pretzels in flight! And if you leave your meal options up to the airlines, you’ll likely end up with a tasteless box lunch that is way overpriced! If you have a food allergy, forget about the reliability of being able to eat on the plane! So, be sure to pack your own homemade meals and snacks instead. Even if you don’t end up needing them in-flight, they will come in handy while touring the countryside or getting a mad sudden case of hangriness mid-tour.
Tight Connection? Choose an Aisle Seat Near the Front
If you can book your flight in advance and are facing a tight connection, reserve an aisle seat towards the front of the plane. If this costs more, it might be worth it in case you risk missing the next flight.
If you are unable to get a close seat online, check in at the counter when you arrive at the airport. Explain your situation and ask to be seated near the front. Don’t forget to arrive a little earlier and ask politely as this strategy will most likely offer you a positive outcome.
Roll, Don’t Fold, Your Clothes
Flight attendants, military members, and your grandmother all know this trick. By rolling your clothes you can fit more into your luggage. And clothes will come out less wrinkled!
Know When to Decline Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can be a wise investment. Or it can be a needless expense. To find out whether it’s wise to insure your trip, ask yourself important questions. Are you planning a long or expensive journey? If you were forced to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen reason, would you be okay with the financial loss?
Furthermore, if you’re in a higher-risk situation like your medical insurance doesn’t cover you abroad or you are heading into unpredictable weather, travel insurance might be a smart purchase. Otherwise, maybe you’re better off pocketing the extra hundred dollars and taking your chances on the road.
Find Free Wi-Fi (Really)
If you are stuck at the airport in between layovers you might want to use Wi-Fi. However, no one wants to pay for it while traveling. Try Lifehacker’s Definitive Guide to Finding Free Wi-Fi that offers a number of ways to locate a hot spot free of charge.
Also, if you download a program like NetStumbler, it has the capability to go beyond your computer’s built-in WiFi detector. It can locate “hidden” Wi-Fi networks that your computer might have missed. iStumbler will provide the same service for a Bluetooth-enabled Mac.JiWire is an app that Smartphone users can download. This app will track the location of almost 150,000 free networks worldwide. Or hey, last resort you can go to Starbucks that offers free Wi-Fi!
Make a Digital Backup With Your Smartphone
What would you do if your identification gets stolen while traveling? Prepare a digital backup on your camera phone. Take a photo of your passport, driver’s license, and maybe even the business card for your hotel and then email these images to yourself and/ or upload to a cloud service. Take photos of the contents of your checked bag too, in case the airline looses your luggage. This way, you have it as a reference when you fill out your claim form. Also, use your phone camera to take photos of your airport parking spot and any other important places you may need to recall.
Sitting on an airplane for long periods of time can be hard on your body. Take the time to move and stretch in-flight to avoid aches, pains, and tight muscles. Also, moving at intervals, walking around the cabin, or exercising your legs and ankles from a seated position helps to prevent dangerous blood clots from forming.
Don’t Wrap Your Chickens Before They’re Checked
If you’re traveling for the holidays, a birthday, a wedding, or another gift-giving occasion, it makes sense to have everything packaged up before you get there. Who likes going through the stress of traveling only to immediately jump into the stress of wrapping presents? If you don’t want your wrap job to get wrinkled (and it will), or stand the chance of a TSA agent unwrapping it anyway (and during heightened security times, like holidays, they very well might), the best course of action is to wait to wrap them at the hotel. It’s the only way your perfect bow will make it under that tree, anyhow.
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